I came across a unique gift idea the other day, they are called Man Medals. The idea behind these shiny rewards is to recognize the little things your man does around the house. There are five medals that you can buy separately or, if you are optimistic, you can buy a package of five.
The award classifications are for: Taking Out the Garbage, Putting the Toilet Seat Down, Running the Vacuum, Picking Up the Dirty Clothes and Replacing the Toilet Paper Roll. The theory is that “inside every man is a nine-year-old boy waiting to be rewarded.”
We all like to be recognized and applauded once in awhile, and usually a simple thank you or a pat on the back is more than enough. I think the medal idea has merit and I’m sure that being presented with a medal would inspire most men to at least think about doing one of those five simple tasks a bit more often.
But I think the medal categories should be expanded. There are at least two other functions men have to do that are both complex and worthy of recognition if done well. Those tasks are listening and waiting.
Many confused husbands have been admonished with the words, “I told you that last week, you never listen.” Knowing there was a possible podium presentation in the offing, a man may tend to pay a bit more attention, but this category would have to come with a test to determine if he had been listening.
Question one: Who is coming over this weekend, why are they coming and where are we going? Question number two: Which one of my best friends am I no longer talking to and what did she say to make me so angry and why should you support me? Question number three would be a multiple choice: I talked to you about the neighbours across the street. They are, A. Going on an Alaskan cruise; B. Getting a divorce; C. Buying a new car.
All of these questions are derived from normal spousal conversations and the man should have been paying attention. I’m suggesting 74 per cent would be the mark to achieve the medal.
Waiting is certainly a task of Olympic proportions that men do regularly. If it happens to be in the dress shop, hair salon or doctor’s office, there is nothing but Redbook or Cosmopolitan magazines to read. They contain articles that degrade men and leave them feeling inadequate.
The worst waiting is the “I’ll only be a minute” drop off. She runs the pie into the church and soon a horn honks and you have to move, at least twice. Eventually you find an actual parking spot and even though you feel like laying on the horn to call her, you know that is not socially acceptable.
Then when she comes out 15 minutes later, she regales you with stories about who has body parts replaced, who is getting married or who has passed on. You must pay attention and you dare not get the names and events mixed up. (see paragraph on listening). Patience in the waiting process is what will win you the gold medal.
No doubt there are many more categories we could examine for this program. Medals and ribbons are nice, but eventually we get older and wiser and we realize that the best reward for a good life is a good life. At least that’s what McGregor says.